Rare Sumatran Rhino Dies Days After Being Caught
Science| | By Lauren Boudreau
The rhinoceros, named Najaq, made headlines two weeks ago when it was captured in Kalimantan, the Indonesian part of Borneo. It was the first time the Sumatran rhino made physical contact with humans in over 40 years.
“Our hearts are saddened by this devastating news from Kalimantan,” the International Rhino Foundation wrote on its Facebook page. “There are many lessons to be learned from this event.”
The rare rhino was thought to be extinct until 2013, when a camera caught evidence of the species’ return. On March 12, the rhino was caught in a pit and the scientific community leaped for joy at the thought of breeding the rhinos in a more secure sanctuary. Now, however, multiple sources report that Najaq succumbed to a leg infection she received after being caught. It’s not certain whether the trapping caused the infection.
“It is our hope that the next rhino captured in Kalimantan will be sent to the Sumatran Rhino Sanctuary where it can be cared for in a permanent facility by experienced veterinarians and keepers,” the Foundation wrote. “Most importantly, we hope that the next rhino captured will be part of the much-needed Sumatran rhino metapopulation management strategy, while concurrent surveys are conducted to accurately determine the population in Kalimantan and appropriate long-term plans made.”
The rhino was estimated to be about four or five years old at the time. Currently, there are only about 100 left in the wild.